How to discuss non-circ with Muslim family? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 46 Old 11-30-2003, 06:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Everyone,

I'm due at the end of December, probably a boy (intuitive guess), and I'm very much in favor of not circumcising boy babies.

The problem is how and when to discuss the non-circ option with my husband's family, who are Pakistani, Muslim, and, at least my mother-in-law (whom I love dearly), not English speaking.

When my daughter was born, they were absolutely appalled that we didn't shave her head. I learned later that all Pakistani/Indian/Bangledeshi parents shave their babies heads. It is a cleanliness ritual: being clean before God/Allah. They are still mad at us for not shaving her head, but we just didn't know (or in my husband's case "think") to do it. They have already asked us to circumcize a boy child (done I believe on the 7th/8th day), and to shave his or her head according to tradition (done, I think, on the 2nd, 8th, 40th day, 1 year).

With the hair, they were so distraught when they came to visit. Couldn't they just cut a little bit of her hair? It wouldn't grow if we didn't cut it (they said). They insisted on rubbing mustard seed oil into her head. I have agreed to shave my next baby's head at least somewhat according to their traditional schedule.

With the circ issue, they are adamant that we circumcise. I am the Mommy, and I have to do what is right by my principles. I know that I can't live to please my or my Muslim parents-in-law. Still, I would like to decide if I want to "fight this fight" in the scheme of all our cross-cultural differences and how.

If I had language-appropriate material (in Urdu) about no-circ, I would probably send it. I would time it to arrive about a week after the baby's birth, when it would become an issue.

Since I don't speak Urdu, I will put my husband in an awkward position with his parents. He himself does not feel strongly about the issue. Although he has gone against their wishes many times in his life choices (like marrying a woman that he choose himself and a non-Muslim, non-Urdu speaking American to boot!), I suspect that this issue is not one that he wants to fight. I could educate him (and his brothers), though. There seem to be many good materials on the web.

The "gut feeling" on the part of my parents-in-law will always be horror and feeling that they have been disrespected. Everyone will know. It will be *the* gossip within the extended family for years to come.

Even as an adult, other Pakistanis would come to know and would view my adult child as so unclean that they might refuse to shake his hand ... (or choose to shake his hand only reluctantly, then go wash their own hands and pray, I guess).

In our few years of marriage, I have watched the ripple effect of my husband's non-arranged marriage to me within his own family and friends. I know that culture changes, sometimes slowly.

I think I can live with either circ'g or not-circ'g my boy baby. We will mostly live in the West anyway, I imagine. And, my husband's parents, though they may never forgive us, won't disown us if we choose not to circ.

They believe all the health claims of benefits for circ... that is the research that is presented in their Urdu-language newspapers and magazines and radio-shows. I can at least educate the English-speaking members of the family about debunking these health claims.

I truly love my husband's family, so if I choose not to circ (and I dearly want to make this choice), I want to show them respect, to respect our cultural differences, and to try to stay on good terms with them despite making a parenting choice that they might never be able to understand.

-- Caitlin
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#2 of 46 Old 11-30-2003, 06:32 AM
 
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I found this http://www.norm-uk.org/circumcision_islam.html
Perhaps that will have some good info for you.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#3 of 46 Old 11-30-2003, 06:33 AM
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oh, caitlin, i do not have the answer to this question, but it is such an important one. just keep bumping it up during the day when the board is full.

i do regret circumsicing my son. it was a scary, horrible day. not one he remembers, fortunately.

maybe you can ask someone to translate an article for you.

what role do you want your in-laws to have in your life? i have to say that most of us have something going on that horrifies our in-laws. at some point, it's unavoidable.

i'm sure your overall smart, tenderhearted mothering will win them over and hold more sway.

could you have an 8th day ceremony of blessing without the circ?

rrr
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#4 of 46 Old 11-30-2003, 11:52 AM
 
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Caitlin,
Are you raising your children Muslim?
If not (and it sounds like Not), then leave the baby whole.
If he chooses to become Muslim as an adult he can then choose to be circumcised or not.
(I knew a South American man who had to convert to Islam to marry a Lebanese friend of mine in college. He changed his name and faith, but nothing physical!).
No matter what you do, it's not going to be easy (join us on another thread on Asian partners in Parents as Partners).

I think you're probably getting a bit of drama from someone about being 'outcast' by the Pakistani community. If your child gets that response, it will be more about his skin-tone and multi-racial parentage than it will his intact penis.

Here in the states, my intact, raised-Hindu DP has great friendships with a Pakistani Muslim, a Punjabi Sikh and the usual array of 'Americans' of all kinds. . . based on things such as shared values, interests and so forth. Whether their penis is whole or not doesn't enter the equation, and if it were an issue for someone, I don't think that would be the kind of person with whom he would want an enduring friendship.

The issue you need to address with DP is whether the children are going to be raised Muslim. If not, there's absolutely no reason to not leave them whole, intact and natural.

Teresa
p.s. For a little comic relief--rent 'My Son the Fanatic' and the other one. . . "East is East" (be warned that a child is circumcised in the latter as an attempt at humor)
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#5 of 46 Old 11-30-2003, 12:21 PM
 
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I don't wish to enter into any argument--I am a practicing Muslim mama of a Muslim son who is circ'd.

What we know, though, is that we are commanded in Islam to follow 5 pillars, and to recognize 6 major beliefs. The rest of what is practiced is primarily "sunnah," or following the example of the prophet (saws).

This is, in my opinion, akin to whether a woman should tweeze her eyebrows, or whether one must shave pubic hair regularly, whether men must grow beards, and what constitutes "proper" Islamic dress code. All of these other issues are often argued, but for some reason circumcision is mostly left alone (I suppose the intimacy has something to do with it, but then what of the pubic hair thing?).

There are those within mostly Muslim cultures who believe that girls should be cut as well--although the vast majority of Muslims do not practice this.

I don't mean to inflame...at all...but I wish to say that most Muslims believe that Allah (swt) makes the requirements clear, and his Mercy makes up for differences. Not to make this thread something that should move to Spirituality, but to give you some perspective on your ILs and the diversity of their faith. If it is a cultural issue rather than a truly religious one, then I advise that you seek out more Indo-Pak mamas, or mamas of Indo-Pak babes (like Teresa) and get more advice from them. Because there are very strong cultural elements in these communities that, for better and for worse, change very very slowly.
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#6 of 46 Old 12-02-2003, 11:34 AM
 
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Kenny Rogers, in his song, says "You gotta know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em." and this is one of those cases.

You are well aware of your instinct to protect your baby and those instincts are strong as they should be. Follow those instincts because if you don't, you will forever question yourself for giving in and a lifetime of regretting something like this is a long time.

"Fold 'em" on the issues of head shaving and the like. If your son is born with hair, most likely most of it will fall out and then regrow. At the point after the first year, as I understand it, the hair can be allowed to re-grow and the child will be none the worse for wear and it will have no long term effect on him. By going as far as you can to follow their customs, it will ameliorate some of the problems. However, your son's sex organ will not grow back and the damage will be lifelong. Just as the regret will be a very long time for you, circumcision will be a very long time for him. If he decided to follow all of the tenants of the faith, he can choose to be circumcised at any time he wishes. This is where you need to "Hold 'em." Your inlaws are insisting that you follow the dictates of another culture in another far away land and the reality is that you son will live in this land and this culture and this culture is more and more speaking out against circumcision. As a matter of fact, 2004 will probably be the first year since the early 1940's that the majority of boys will be left intact. Just as the circumcision rate in America has dropped almost 50% in the past dozen or so years, It will continue to drop as it has in other formerly circumcising countries. In America in your son's peer group, circumcision will be the exception rather than the rule which will certainly elicit questions from this group as to why their genitals were "customized" when their peers were not. With the abundance of information available against circumcision now available, this will be a very hard question to answer.

Tell your inlaws that you have absolutely no problem with circumcision and you will have no problem with it being done when your son is old enough to decide for himself. Stand your ground! They will get over it. This is America, not Pakistan.




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#7 of 46 Old 12-02-2003, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am still thinking about how to address the issue, and I may post again. I welcome more of your posts as well.

I am preparing to not circ and to try to explain myself.

I have decided that it is very important that my husband understands my principles and beliefs behind this decision.

I am also trying to accept that:

I can't explain myself and my decisions to my in-laws.

They may never understand.

I have to accept that my husband will mediate my thinking about this decision as he explains it to his parents, and that, despite doing his best, he probably will not be a good representative of me and my beliefs. (He's not perfect.)

So, I am going to focus on educating my husband and my brothers-in-law. I will first begin by emailing articles to my husband.

I must be patient and respectful of my parents-in-law, and also the position of my husband and I with respect to his extended family.

-- Caitlin
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#8 of 46 Old 12-03-2003, 12:19 PM
 
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Caitlin:

You do have a very difficult task ahead of you. You are going against a religious belief that you were not raised in and do not fully comprehend. There is also the language barrier that makes it even more difficult. However, there should be some capitulation from the other side as well. It seems that they are being very inflexible in their stance and are ignoring the fact that your son will be raised in a different culture and different expectations. There needs to be give and take on both sides, not one side demanding something that is culture on one continent and not on another and the other side capitulating to all of the demands. Just know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em. Give a little and take a little.




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#9 of 46 Old 12-03-2003, 09:30 PM
 
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I think it will work very well for you to say that your son will grow up first and when he is at an age to understand religion better, he will choose to fulfill his religious obligations.

I'm sorry I don't have the links here, but I have seen Muslim websites that are anti-circumcision. Their grounds are that it is not really commanded by the Koran, and that we cannot improve the body created by Allah. They can be found in English and Arabic.
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#10 of 46 Old 12-27-2003, 09:13 PM
 
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Hi Caitlin:

As a Muslim mom of a newborn son (2 months old), thought I'd chime in. (He was circumcised by the OB using a local injection plus a pacifier dipped in a glucose solution... shocking, I know. )

First off, the shaving the head bit is not unique among Asian Muslims... it's practiced by nearly all on the 7th day after birth. The head of a baby is shaved, and then the hair is weighed. The weight of the hair is given in either silver (usually) or gold (sometimes) or its cash equivalent to the poor. It all has to do with the fact that God has blessed you with a healthy baby, and you should show gratitude by helping the less needy.

Our son had quite a bit of hair... and so, it was quite a shock to see the little baldy emerge. LOL He's still adorable, though. The funny thing is that it's growing back as a mohawk... which as an ex-punk girl, I find terribly amusing.

On the circumcision issue, what are your concerns. If it's pain... most circumcisions these days are done with anesthetic. You can talk with your OB/surgeon/pediatric urologist (whomever does the circumcision) about it. If there are other concerns, what are they? Not sure if this would satisfy his parents, but you could see how small of a portion of the foreskin could be removed to see if that would satisfy their beliefs while leaving the penis mainly in tact. Not sure how that would work or not.

Do know that if your son decides to be circumcised at a later age (adult), that it is a much more difficult procedure. You could try and delay the procedure for a year or two (find out what's safe)... and then tell your in-laws that a physician advised you to wait this long. From what I remember, boys in Turkey are circumcised around 7... so it's not unheard of in the Muslim world. Whether or not you ever circumcise him at that point, would be up to you and your husband. It's unlikely that your grandparents would be seeing the little boy naked at that time, because he would no longer be a baby.

It will be very hard to get your parents-in-law to budge on this. It's another common practice among Muslims and Jews dating back to the time of Abraham. In all honesty, I think it's your husband's job to talk to them if he doesn't want to circumcise the kid. Not you. He's their son, knows the tradition, knows them. Don't give them further ammunition against you as their daughter-in-law. As for other Muslims viewing him as unclean... that, I'm not sure about. Typically, most Muslim males are very modest when they go to the bathroom. They don't use the urinals.. .they use the stalls. Most Muslim guys that I know (at least raised in Muslim countries) don't pee standing up either. So... it's not like the other guys are going to be able to check him out, so to speak. The problem will likely lie with your immediate family... what Grandma sees when she changes the little guy's diaper... or gives him a bath.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

My prayer for you is that you are delivered of a healthy baby... and that his grandparents rejoice and love him regardless of what his penis looks like!

Peace,
Karla

Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1).  "Kids do as well as they can."

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#11 of 46 Old 12-27-2003, 09:53 PM
 
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One other way to approach this would be to decide what's really important to your in-laws. Does not having a foreskin make your son a Muslim? No. There's a whole lot that goes into being a Muslim that does not involve foreskins. My guess is that they'd want you to raise both of your kids as Muslim. (It sounds like you're not planning to do so... but that your in-laws assume that you will.)

Now, I know that you mentioned that you're UU... so it should be easy to raise your kids both, so to speak based on UU tenants.

What you might want to do is agree that you'll have your kids learn to read Qur'an, teach them to pray (or your husband can), and go to Islamic weekend school until they're X years of age. They can also attend UU services on Sundays. At that time, your son can decide whether or not to be circumcised... although I have to admit, I think it would be much harder for a teenage boy to go through the operation than a baby... psychologically at least.

Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1).  "Kids do as well as they can."

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#12 of 46 Old 12-28-2003, 01:12 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by umsami
Do know that if your son decides to be circumcised at a later age (adult), that it is a much more difficult procedure.
This is not actually true. In fact, it's the other way around. An adult (or a boy in whom the foreskin has naturally separated) can not only more safely undergo proper anesthesia, but also the surgeon can more precisely cut off the foreskin while leaving enough skin for the penis to become erect without being too tight. On a baby, the doctor has no clue and it's anyone's guess as to whether he might have taken too much. An adult also doesn't have the issue of the foreskin being forcibly ripped away from the glans, leaving a bleeding wound, so there's less chance of infection.

Not to mention the adult has the autonomous power to make an informed decision about his own body, whereas the baby does not.

The doctor who circed my poor dh as a baby took too much, as evidenced by the pubic hair pulled up onto the shaft of his penis when he has an erection and the extremely tight skin on his erection.

My father was circed as an adult and it was not a traumatic procedure.

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#13 of 46 Old 12-28-2003, 01:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by umsami
At that time, your son can decide whether or not to be circumcised... although I have to admit, I think it would be much harder for a teenage boy to go through the operation than a baby... psychologically at least.
Well, yes. That's the reason males and females are circumcised young. Because they might decide they didn't want to do it and doing it young takes the decision out of their hands. Psychologically, a man would have to be insane to cut one of the most important parts of his penis off. By having it done before he knows the value of that part helps prevent him from being extremely angry about it. That would be much harder psychologically. You're right about that!



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#14 of 46 Old 12-28-2003, 05:36 AM
 
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I respectfully disagree Jane... although I'm glad your Dad wasn't traumatized.

In a post-pubescent male, you have the added complication of erections (voluntary or involuntary) during the healing period. This can cause disruption of the sutures used in the opearation. (Sutures are not needed in circumcision of a newborn.) There is also the typical risks of infection, bleeding, hematoma, damage to the glans, etc. I've also read of increased impotence among adult circumcision patients--although many believe that it is psychologically related. One also has the fact that the nerves are fully developed. One also has a much more considerably developed blood supply to the penis (the erection mechanism) as an adult.

The procedure is much rarer among adults--hence, the expertise of the surgeon performing the procedure is likely to be less. It is indicated as treatment for a few rare medical conditions... in addition to social/religious reasons.

In addition, there was an old study done in the 60s that showed increased psychological trauma pretty much at any time past the newborn phase... even among boys 4-7.

IMHO, if one is going to decide to circumcise, it's much better to do so as an infant. If one isn't... or one is planning on leaving that choice up to one's son until he is mature, please talk with a urologist about what the procedure would entail.

Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1).  "Kids do as well as they can."

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#15 of 46 Old 12-28-2003, 10:58 AM
 
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Hmmm....

I think if you do something "for" a teenager... and it is something he wants, and it is something that is truly good for him there is NOTHING to be traumatized by.

To imply that a teenager might be traumatized by circumcision more than an infant is to say that circumcision may not be a good thing to do to a person and that the ability to KNOW and UNDERSTAND at a very personal level the way that you were sexually damaged might be traumatizing...

and if a person who CAN understand would be traumatized

it's obvious that a person who CAN'T is also traumatized.

Understanding should bring with it added confidence in the rightness of it... and if people are not confident in understanding leading to that conclusion- then they should not be doing it to unconsenting people under the guise of "doing it on their behalf to spare them trauma" because they are not doing it on their behalf... they are doing it opportunisticly when the other person has no say in the matter.

Love Sarah
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#16 of 46 Old 12-28-2003, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This discussion has been very helpful to me! I can't reply at length now. Thank you to everyone! -- Caitlin
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#17 of 46 Old 12-28-2003, 01:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by umsami
In a post-pubescent male, you have the added complication of erections (voluntary or involuntary) during the healing period.
Babies get erections too. At least in an adult they can be put out and not feel the surgery. Most babies are still done without anything for pain relief, and even when they get it, it doesn't always work.


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There is also the typical risks of infection, bleeding, hematoma, damage to the glans, etc.
All go for circing a baby as well.

Quote:
I've also read of increased impotence among adult circumcision patients--although many believe that it is psychologically related.
In all my years of doing research on circ (about 7 now), I have NEVER read this. Please post some facts to back this up.

Quote:
One also has the fact that the nerves are fully developed.
That goes back to the myths that in infants they don't feel because their nerves aren't as developed yet. It's a MYTH.

Quote:
One also has a much more considerably developed blood supply to the penis (the erection mechanism) as an adult.
Again, babies get erections.

Quote:
The procedure is much rarer among adults
Which should tell us something. It's NOT needed

Quote:
In addition, there was an old study done in the 60s that showed increased psychological trauma pretty much at any time past the newborn phase... even among boys 4-7.
There are studies to show that it impacts infants psychologically. They react stronger to pain than those that aren't circed.

Quote:
IMHO, if one is going to decide to circumcise, it's much better to do so as an infant.
What about human rights? Why shouldn't it be the boy himself that gets to decide what he wants for his penis?

Quote:
If one isn't... or one is planning on leaving that choice up to one's son until he is mature, please talk with a urologist about what the procedure would entail.
That's really silly as most men would never choose it anyway. If they did then they could talk to a urologist. Stop trying to scare people into circing with these myths.
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#18 of 46 Old 12-28-2003, 01:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by umsami
This can cause disruption of the sutures used in the opearation. (Sutures are not needed in circumcision of a newborn.) There is also the typical risks of infection, bleeding, hematoma, damage to the glans, etc.
Like AnnMarie said, all these complications happen in babies. In fact, several babies die each year in the US from complications from circ. Estimates of complications resulting from neonatal circumcision are conservatively in the 10% range. Meatal stenosis, for example, is entirely a complication of circ (doesn't happen in intact boys) and requires further surgery.

Baby boys get their glans cut off every year during routine circ. The organ is so small that it's difficult to get the "right" amount, and a slip of the knife is all too easy. It's much easier to operate on an adult penis than a baby penis.

The wound is also much smaller, comparatively speaking, on an adult male. Whereas on a baby boy, when you flay the skin of the penis off, the wound is too large to suture.

Quote:
One also has the fact that the nerves are fully developed.
This thinking has been entirely discredited by medical research. In fact, babies are MORE sensitive to pain than adults. Which is only heightened by the fact that babies cannot understand why intense trauma and pain are being inflicted upon them; adult pain is at least understandable by the adult.

Quote:
The procedure is much rarer among adults--hence, the expertise of the surgeon performing the procedure is likely to be less.
OK, this is just a joke. "Training" in this country consists of learning by doing, with live babies instead of the test dummies. Most medical professionals who do circs are ob/gyns or pediatricians - the former are trained as surgeons for women, the latter are not trained as surgeons at all. Circs are just incidental to their formal training, and inexpert circs happen all the time. Practice does not necessarily make perfect, especially when there is no way to tell, as I mentioned earlier, how much skin a particular baby will need for an erection later in life.

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#19 of 46 Old 12-28-2003, 01:57 PM
 
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Originally posted by Sarah
Hmmm....

I think if you do something "for" a teenager... and it is something he wants, and it is something that is truly good for him there is NOTHING to be traumatized by.

To imply that a teenager might be traumatized by circumcision more than an infant is to say that circumcision may not be a good thing to do to a person and that the ability to KNOW and UNDERSTAND at a very personal level the way that you were sexually damaged might be traumatizing...

and if a person who CAN understand would be traumatized

it's obvious that a person who CAN'T is also traumatized.

Understanding should bring with it added confidence in the rightness of it... and if people are not confident in understanding leading to that conclusion- then they should not be doing it to unconsenting people under the guise of "doing it on their behalf to spare them trauma" because they are not doing it on their behalf... they are doing it opportunisticly when the other person has no say in the matter.

Love Sarah


So well said. It's so obvious, isn't it? If circumcision is a good, positive thing for the individual being circumcised, why in the world would it be traumatic?

If it was a good, positive thing, then being circumcised as an adult should be a relief, right?
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#20 of 46 Old 12-29-2003, 11:12 AM
 
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Obviously, by even posting anything remotely not anti-circ in this forum, I was going into the Lion's Den... but anyways...

I don't agree with Babies undergoing circumcision (or any other operation) without anesthesia, for one thing. And the practice of that happening has begun to change in recent years, Thank G-d! (n part, thanks to the AAP statement in 1999)

I also do not believe in the routine circumcision of all babies... but I have no issues with Jews and Muslims who circumcize based on religious belief. There have been proven health benefits to circumcision (increased incidence of UTI's among uncircumcised men, risk of certain STDs)... but one can argue (and I agree) that those benefits are not enough to warrent circumcision of all males.

The topic of this thread was talking about not circumcising an infant in a religion where it is believed that circumcision is mandated by God. So... I don't think many of your anti-circ arguments would hold weight in that arena.

Regarding the Impotence and Adult Circumcision comment, check out the following, http://www.cirp.org/library/complications/stinson/ As I said in my original post, it is mainly believed to be psychological.

I think your logic is a bit flawed regarding trauma... as an infant's relationiship with his penis is likely to be a lot less than a teenage boy's... LOL

I stick by all my other statements regarding the increased risk of complications for an adult. Saying that does not negate the potential complications for infants.

Yes, babies do become sexually arroused, masturbate, etc. The issue is rupture of the suture line--which does not occur with infant's who are circumcised as sutures are not used!

Anyways, good luck Caitlin with your In-Laws. I do hope that if you choose to fight this battle with them, you enlist the help of your husband. Being the non-Muslim and non-Pakistani daughter-in-law can be tough enough! (Yes, they still might have issues with you if you were Muslim and not Pakistani... or even Muslim, Pakistani, and not from the same area of Pakistan!)

I really recommend that you and your husband discuss this with your pediatrician. You may also want to seek out the advice of an Imam (Muslim religious leader) to see if he can offer any advice in dealing with your in-laws. If at all possible, seek out a Pakistani Imam--who may understand your In-Laws culture more than a Muslim of a different background.

Here are some opinions of some Muslim scholars from long ago... you may want to check with the Imam to verify these quotes... and then discuss the best way to bring them up with your in-laws.

Al-Nawawi (died 1277) quotes Ibn-al-Mundhir (died 931) as follows: "In the field of circumcision there is neither an interdiction which can be proved, nor a limit of time which can be referred to, nor a sunnah which can be followed. Things remain submitted to the discretionary decision of the person and it is not allowed to forbid something unless there is a proof. We do not know if those who forbid the circumcision of the child on his seventh day have any proof". Ibn-Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah (died 1351) discussed whether the child should not be circumcised on the seventh day after his birth similarly to the Jews. He quotes also Ibn-al-Mundhir: "There is not interdiction in this field. There is neither information concerning circumcision to which one can refer nor sunnah [of the Prophet] which can be used".

Argument which may allow you to delay... although Al-Tusi is a Shi'ite and your In-Laws are most likely Sunni. Al-Tusi (died 1067, shiite): "It is preferable to circumcise the boy when he is seven days old without delay. If circumcision is delayed to adulthood, nothing bad in it. But if the child becomes adult, he must be circumcised; he cannot be left uncircumcised in any case. The circumcision of female slaves (jawari), if performed, is great honor and precious merit (fadl kabir wa thawab jazil). If not, nothing bad in it".

Check this article out for more http://www.hraic.org/male_and_female_circumcision.html But be forewarned, just because it's on the Internet doesn't mean it's true. I haven't verified these quotes attributed to scholars, so you really are best to take this article to an Imam for verification. If he's Pakistani, perhaps he can help draft something for you in Urdu. As an Imam/Shaykh... your in-laws may respect his opinion more than if you just presented the argument yourselves.

Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1).  "Kids do as well as they can."

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#21 of 46 Old 12-31-2003, 12:41 PM
 
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Originally posted by umsami
I don't agree with Babies undergoing circumcision (or any other operation) without anesthesia, for one thing. And the practice of that happening has begun to change in recent years, Thank G-d! (n part, thanks to the AAP statement in 1999)


Yes, but 75% of baby boys are still circumcised with no pain relief whatsoever.



Quote:
There have been proven health benefits to circumcision (increased incidence of UTI's among uncircumcised men, risk of certain STDs)... but one can argue (and I agree) that those benefits are not enough to warrent circumcision of all males.


The AAP and AMA disagree with you on this one. They have found no proven evidence of this being true. That's why they have said "potential" in their statement. Sorry, but I'll believe them over you any day.

Quote:
Regarding the Impotence and Adult Circumcision comment, check out the following, http://www.cirp.org/library/complications/stinson/ As I said in my original post, it is mainly believed to be psychological.


And how much research did you have to bypass to find that? The fact is circumcision desensitizes and therefore promotes impotence regardless of whether it is done as an infant, child or adult. Check out the research you bypassed by Laumann, McGrath and Cold & Taylor

Quote:
Yes, babies do become sexually arroused, masturbate, etc. The issue is rupture of the suture line--which does not occur with infant's who are circumcised as sutures are not used!


Babies masturbate? Never heard of that before. Is this something you have seen with your own eyes? You are right that babies are not normally sutured but the cut line can and does rupture. This happened earlier this year in British Columbia and the baby bled to death. Also, adults are given medication that prevents erection during the recovery period to prevent just what you have described

Quote:
You may also want to seek out the advice of an Imam (Muslim religious leader) to see if he can offer any advice in dealing with your in-laws. If at all possible, seek out a Pakistani Imam--who may understand your In-Laws culture more than a Muslim of a different background.


Of course! And what do you think he will recommend? Your intentions are quite transparent.

Quote:
you really are best to take this article to an Imam for verification. If he's Pakistani, perhaps he can help draft something for you in Urdu. As an Imam/Shaykh... your in-laws may respect his opinion more than if you just presented the argument yourselves.


Ah, yes! And she will have no idea what he has written and what message he, not she, is sending them. Like I said before, your intentions are quite transparent.

The name of this forum is "The Case Against Circumcision." It is clear that you are making a case FOR circumcision and additionally, you are giving advise that if followed, would result in this child being circumcised. It is also clearly noted at the top of this board that discussions of circumcision are off limits and you have flagrantly violated this prohibition in your zeal to promote the genital alteration of males.




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#22 of 46 Old 12-31-2003, 11:21 PM
 
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Originally posted by Frankly Speaking
Yes, but 75% of baby boys are still circumcised with no pain relief whatsoever.
Of the 25% who do receive pain relief how do they communicate if the anesthetic is effective? Does the doc stop cutting the baby's genitals to administer more?
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#23 of 46 Old 01-01-2004, 02:40 AM
 
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Originally posted by Last Minute
Of the 25% who do receive pain relief how do they communicate if the anesthetic is effective? Does the doc stop cutting the baby's genitals to administer more?

Of course not! What planet are you from? The doctors have little compassion for the child and there are no repercussions. That child that is in immeasurable pain will never come back and bring legal action against the doctor! At least, that's what they think but that is changing. Once the circumcision is started, there is no stopping it. Even if the parents were standing there objecting, the doctor is not going to stop. He has administered the maximum safe amount of pain relief and administering more could endanger the life of the baby. He's in a "Catch 22." He's going to tell the parents that the baby is just angry about being tied down.




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#24 of 46 Old 01-02-2004, 11:00 AM
 
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Hello!
My dh is a muslim turk and circumcision has been brought up by me often.His family assumes we will raise the children muslim,and I am sure they will want to host a *cutting party* when my boy reaches 5+(I would never allow my son to visit them!).When that time comes I will stand my ground with his family and dh if needed. I had a falling out with my in-laws when they refused to call him by his first name,so if they get more angry with me over religion and circumcision big deal. I can definately live without them.Like I told my dh,"This family of four comes first.What your parents,or mine expect from us is irrelevant."

I see for you that being on good terms with the in-laws is important,but it looks as if they will only be happy if you do what is expected-what they did for their children. Your son comes first,so decide what is best for him.Maybe you can come to a middle ground as Frank mentioned. I spent the summer looking into religious circ issues.It just seems so weird that people still believe it is a good thing to hold your child down and cut at their genitals! I no longer practice judaism,and my dh was just a muslim by birth anyway-non-practicising(but he doesn't like to rock the parental boat).We looked into other religions,but at this moment decided none is better.

I have not had a single problem with infections or anything in regards to my son's penis.My dd has had more problems!

I wish you the best.Peace in the family,and intactness for your son.
Sara
Oh I wanted to add that my dh's parents typically arrange marriage too.His brother and sister had partners picked by the parents.His sister will be married in April,and the parents want to fly us over there.Dh can go if he wants(no kids),but the whole time they will just pressure him to move back home.They were not happy with dh marrying me or staying in the US.He only came here for school,and then never returned home.I had nothing to do with that.I think he just could not take the parental control.
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#25 of 46 Old 01-02-2004, 12:36 PM
 
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It appears in both of these cases that the parents are determined to continue to control the children's life just as if they were still minors. They did as they saw fit with their children and that was their family. These are your families and you are the decision makers for your own families. Do what you feel is best for your families.

My own mother had a controlling personality. It wasn't malicious and in her eyes, it was for my own good because she had many more years of experience than I did. However, the times of her experiences and the times of my life were very different and the solutions to the problems were different and only decisions I could make. She resisted my own self control for many years but when I started coming around less and told her that I had to have my own experiences and make my own mistakes and take responsibility for them, she relented and our relationship became much closer and she realized what she had been doing. Her trying to control my life had been driving a wedge between us.

Maybe your in-laws will come to the same realization and everyone will be happier for it.



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#26 of 46 Old 01-02-2004, 07:55 PM
 
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Originally posted by umsami
Do know that if your son decides to be circumcised at a later age (adult), that it is a much more difficult procedure.
I'm wondering, have you read this?

http://www.acs.ohio-state.edu/units/...chive/circ.htm

Seems the complication rates of office and OR circs are the same according to this study.
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#27 of 46 Old 01-22-2004, 11:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I was so surprised (and relieved) to have girl. I spent so much time worrying that I would have a boy, and that we wouldn't have an appropriate cross-cultural name for him and that I would have to start an argument about circumcision in DH's family. I decided to not cirumcise, but DH and I never discussed it because I was afraid to bring it up and start an argument between us.

With your help, I gathered a lot of information about circ and Islam. I will post it here soon.

Especially now that DD2 is a girl, I think that I do want to bring up the non-circ issue with DH and his family. DH does not want us to have a third child, but I do, and you never know. Moreover, now that I feel strongly about the issue, I want to help get the Islamic community thinking about it, even if all I do is stimulate discussion within DH's family.

I am still pretty ttired in the post-partum phase... but I hope to post again soon.

-- Caitlin
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#28 of 46 Old 01-22-2004, 12:29 PM
 
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Congratulations on your new baby! I hope you're enjoying your sweet newborn!

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#29 of 46 Old 01-22-2004, 06:46 PM
 
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Congrats on the birth of your daughter!

I was planning to simply leave it in the hands of your son (which is a girl! ) and when he becomes an adult in the Muslin community, he can make that decision.
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#30 of 46 Old 01-24-2004, 03:35 PM
 
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Congrats on the birth of your dd.
Sara
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